Road Trip - Mass to Cali (not 56k friendly)

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Road Trip - Mass to Cali (not 56k friendly)

Post by WickedSlow on Fri May 23, 2008 10:26 am

Boston, MA to Los Gatos, CA. cheers That's right, a cross-country ROAD TRIP!

The Reason: My best friend's girfriend has a car out here, needs it transported to her home in CA, but doesn't want to pay for shipping.

The Catch: We only have 5 days to make the trip.

The Route: Figured I'd throw up a map of our planned route, we'll be following old Route 66 from St. Louis to Flagstaff, hoping to stop by the Gateway Arch, Cadillac Ranch, the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and maybe Sequoia National Park.



Check back for updates. I'll have a map of the planned route up soon, and hopefully I'll post pics and news along the way if I have time and access to the internet.


Last edited by WickedSlow on Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:18 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Road Trip - Mass to Cali (not 56k friendly)

Post by Ricer on Fri May 23, 2008 11:46 am

Damn man that's awesome. I wanted to do that this summer... (drive out and fly back) but I couldn't find a car to do it in.

I didn't want to take my car and I couldn't rent one bacause I am not 21 or 25...

Good luck with the trip and keep us all posted!!

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Re: Road Trip - Mass to Cali (not 56k friendly)

Post by 93cobra670 on Fri May 23, 2008 10:15 pm

Thats sick! too bad your gas bill is going to eclipse the shipping expense lol

have fun and try to stay out of the way of the law
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Prep Work

Post by WickedSlow on Sat May 24, 2008 1:22 am

So, like you said, gas is going to up the price of this trip. We're estimating about $700 in gas to get there, but we're DEFINITELY stopping in New Jersey, because there's no gas tax there and prices are about 20 cents below the national average. pirat

Anyway, here are some more pics of our prep work and the vehicle we're driving

Mercury Mountaineer... I guess my buddy's been getting strange looks since we mounted the CB antenna a couple days ago. People think dark color + antenna = unmarked cop... can't say i've ever seen a cop in a truck like this.



So far, extras include a "custom" mounted XM radio, Magellan Maestro GPS, 3-way power splitter, and a REALY OLD (i don't know how old) CB Radio.





No fancy window suction cup mounts for me, you can see the "creative" installation technique here. This is what I got from steel strapping, metal sheers, and a screw driver:


And now for the VERY OLD cb radio.


Got any other ideas for mods? I don't leave till Monday, so let me know. They have to be temporary so I can remove the gear and bring it back in a suitcase when I get to Cali.
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Re: Road Trip - Mass to Cali (not 56k friendly)

Post by bluehtchbckdrv on Sat May 24, 2008 8:26 pm

For the love of god....find a radar detector!!!! Despite some states just using laser now, the radar detectors help out 95% of the time...plus there is no way you should be driving at the speed limits...thats just madness Twisted Evil
I'm really jealous of your drive...I wish I could do that....

Drive safely!! Make sue to have a camera handy too....seem some crazy/cool stuff on the road and some of the most beautiful scenery...
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Packed Tight

Post by WickedSlow on Sun May 25, 2008 12:52 am

Thanks for the advice, we may be borrowing a friends detector for the trip. As for final prep, we finished packing the trunk with all the stuff that has to be transported with the car to Cali. Lets just say I'm gonna become best friends with the side view mirrors.



Oh, and we're going to be taking pictures with this stylish bright-pink chair at stops along the way.
(we have to bring it, so why not use it?)

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Re: Road Trip - Mass to Cali (not 56k friendly)

Post by bluehtchbckdrv on Sun May 25, 2008 3:42 pm

WickedSlow wrote:
Oh, and we're going to be taking pictures with this stylish bright-pink chair at stops along the way.
(we have to bring it, so why not use it?)


The Chair could be pretty cool for some pics...you'll have to find like a demolition derby and have someone take a pic of you guys watching lol
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Weather Outlook

Post by WickedSlow on Mon May 26, 2008 12:55 am

Has anyone else noticed all the news about all the TORNADOS in the midwest?
Yea... apparently there a lot in the last week.

Anyone have some tornado-escape evasive driving manuever tips?

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Re: Road Trip - Mass to Cali (not 56k friendly)

Post by bluehtchbckdrv on Mon May 26, 2008 11:27 am

WickedSlow wrote:Has anyone else noticed all the news about all the TORNADOS in the midwest?
Yea... apparently there a lot in the last week.

Anyone have some tornado-escape evasive driving manuever tips?


There were a few just south of Chicago last night apparently....
I read a bunch of a interesting myths about avoiding tornados the other day, but I dont know where the article is. The one that stuck out the most was to NOT PARK UNDER A BRIDGE. Apparently that will put you in greater danger...My guess would be if you see a funnel cloud, pull a u-turn and let the speed limit be damned
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Re: Road Trip - Mass to Cali (not 56k friendly)

Post by Ricer on Thu May 29, 2008 2:36 pm

Well said ^^

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DAY 1 - MA to PA

Post by WickedSlow on Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:17 pm

So, I got in off a red-eye back from San Jose this morning at 6, slept from 8-12, and couldn't resist getting started on posting pics from the trip.

On the first day, I drove down to New Haven, CT to pick up my buddy and kick off the trip. Unfortunately, we got a late start because his sister's graduation from the Yale law school ran late and we didn't leave New Haven until 6pm.

On the way to New Jersey, and our first gas stop, we couldn't help but snapping a pic of this very nice new Turbo convertible.


We also ran across this Lotus during sunset in NJ.


By 11pm, it we our thirsty SUV and hungry stomachs warranted the first of many pit stops. From there, continued out drive into the night. Here's a (bad quality) picture of the night driving.

(After taking this pic, we quickly figured out that throwing a cloth over the GPS / XM and dimming the dash lights most of the way helped a TON to reduce the glare and strain on our very tired eyes)

Around 1am, we needed a stretch, so we took some time to toss a football that was also making the trip to CA, and snap some pictures with the chair. This pretty much ended "day 1" of the trip, but that doesn't mean we stopped driving there.

(I'm very glad I packed a tripod for the trip)
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DAY 2 - PA to TX (yes, I said Pennsylvania to Texas)

Post by WickedSlow on Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:19 pm

Day 2... where do I start?

After our latenight rest-stop sports, we drove through the night and hit sunrise somewhere in Ohio.


West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana & Illinois were kind of a blur in my memory, lots of flat land, fields, trees, and fairly strait roads. Somewhere along the way (in Indiana I think) we stopped for gas & snacks at a local store just off the highway, and we saw this building right behind the gas station.


Soon after getting back on the road, we were driving at a decent pace and found ourselves staring at a pack of drag racing team trailers heading west.
(we saw 3 different trucks/trailers for the John Force Racing team)










So, back to on our cross country adventure, we planned ahead to stop and see the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and we were able to find parking and get some time outside the car to snap some pics of the site. I you haven't been, it really is amazing to see.


We also sat down under the arch and made sure to get a pic of St. Louis itself, though we didn't have time to go any farther into the city than that.


On the way out of St. Louis, we stopped to top off the tank at a gas station and grab some food to go. Right as we were leaving, we heard a warning on a local FM channel... TORNADO WARNING for St. Louis, and heavy thunder storms all the way down to Oklahoma, just what we needed!? So we decided to get on the road and head out asap, but had enough time to catch a photo of this billboard...


Further out on our run from the bad weather, we drove under this interesting piece of architecture.


Once we made to to Oklahoma (and started to see sunshine despite stormy forecasts), we stopped for gas. I think the picture says it all...


Day 2 ended with one final surge to make it past Oklahoma. Forecasts were predicting much worse weather the next day and we decided we'd rather try to keep eachother awake and push through to Texas to escape the storms. We drove off toward a nice sunset and ended up in Shamrock, TX around 11:30pm.
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DAY 3 - TX to AZ

Post by WickedSlow on Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:23 pm

After such a long time on the road the first two days, we took advantage of the hotel room, slept till about 9, and had some pretzels & water (cause we missed the continental breakfast) before heading out for the day.



Later that morning, we passed a truck full of vette's, including a special Indianapolis 500 edition and some Z06's.


A ways into Texas, we passed a sign advertising the "biggest cross in the western hemisphere", so naturally we had to stop and check it out... boy was it a big cross.


And we almost stopped at the restaurant down the road, but figured we'd play it safe and find a Subway instead.


Now, understand that up till this point, we had only seen about a total of 5 police cars since Pennsylvania... then suddenly we stumbled upon the Texas cop meeting grounds. There were 8 state police cars in the parking lot of this gas station / Subway, both marked and unmarked.


Now for the good stuff... CADILLAC RANCH! This place is very cool, but strange at the same time. There's just a gate in the fence along the road, and a wide 100 yard dirt path that cuts out into a farm field, where the cars are. You can see it from the highway (rt 40), and we made it a point to go take a look (and a picture with the pink chair of course)


Now understand, we were still trying to outrun bad thunderstorms that were forecasted to hit at some point. We were literally driving down the edge of the stormy weather, and ended up missing all of it. I think this pic captures the essence of our 50/50 chances with the weather.


But later that afternoon, the weather cleared up as we got into New Mexico, and we were seeing nothing but strait road ahead of us.


Almost to the border of Arizona, we were seeing the cool southern red-rocky landscapes, very different than the flatlands we were in up until now.


Plus, we discovered Arizona was one of our new favorite states... understand why?


Toward the end of daylight, we came over the crest of a hill on the highway and decided to get off and explore a little to see if we could find a good place to get a picture of the sunset, and ended up on a very rural dirt road near the top of the hill. After some pictures there, we finally made it to our hotel in Flagstaff around 10:30pm, and tried to get to get some extra sleep so we could wake up early for the last day of the trip.




Last edited by WickedSlow on Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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DAY 4 - AZ to CA

Post by WickedSlow on Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:28 pm

Alright, its day 4, where do I start...

Well, after getting up and leaving the hotel around 9, we headed to our first stop that was only about a 10 mile drive... Sunset Crater Volcano. (couldn't leave the pink chair out either)


First we came across a great view of this snow capped mountain (it was 85 out that day)


Then the volcano.


And the lava flow from an eruption long ago.


After some stops for some more pictures, we headed off to the next attraction, but along the way started to see the disappearing road illusion because the pavement was getting so hot in the sun and the road was very strait and slightly sloped toward the horizon.


Next stop was the Colorado River Canyon. This was very cool, though the locals charge $2 to enter the parking lot in order to see it at the point we chose to stop, while you could stop at many other spots for free. I think the cost was worth the view.


Then... The Grand Canyon. If you have never been, you have to see it at some point, just the sheer size of the Grand Canyon is something I think everyone should get the chance to experience first hand, with or without a pink chair.




Now that was had the "biggest" tourist attraction out of the way, we took a detour north and decided to cross
the Hoover Dam before heading west... unfortunately the pink chair didn't get in the picture for this one.


As we finally left Arizona and headed into Nevada, we had to pass up driving down the Las Vegas strip in the interest of time, but i was able to snap a quick pic of the skyline from a distance.


We left Vegas in need of gas, and soon found ourselves facing the most expensive gas price we paid the whole trip... $4.53 ! affraid


Anyway, the driving from there on to our final destination was relatively smooth sailing, though we did hit 2 major contruction road blocks that cost us about 10 minutes at each one.


At last, we finally delivered the Mountaineer to its home in Los Gatos, CA around 3:30am Friday morning. Sleep
This is the final pic after we got everything unpacked in the morning.


To be completely honest, this was one of my favorite vacations because I'd never driven cross country before. If I have the chance to do it again, I will definitely stretch the trip out over 3-4 weeks instead of one. Even though we really packed a lot of sightseeing into essentially just under 4 days of travel.


Last edited by WickedSlow on Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Road Trip - Mass to Cali (not 56k friendly)

Post by Ricer on Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:00 am

this is awesome

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Re: Road Trip - Mass to Cali (not 56k friendly)

Post by bluehtchbckdrv on Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:06 am

Great pics!
Ya....IL, OH, IN....all the same shit Sad Straight damn line, 0 scenery, plenty-o cops....ugh.
If you drove through OH, did you guys go around the ridiculous corner in Cleveland? It is like a 90 degree turn....on the 90 i think it is...maybe 94

I would love a Lotus Esprit. It's my favorite Lotus
I'm glad you guys made it back safe though, must have been one hell of a trip!!

Did you make to Rt. 66?
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TOTAL COSTS

Post by WickedSlow on Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:47 pm

First off, yes, we did drive along much of what used to be rt 66 between Missouri and Arizona. We stuck on the current highways, so we missed out on the various portions of the "old rt 66" that split off from the modern highways at many points throughout OK, TX, NM & AZ.

On another note, we pulled out all the receipts and checked online credit card statements to come up with some total costs for the trip.

Gas ---- $710.14
Food --- $96.73
Hotels -- $218.64
Tolls ---- $12.25
\\\\\\\\\\\\ $1,037.76

Cost of shipping the vehicle would have been atleast 1,100 plus surcharges for rising gas prices. We also saved them the hassle of the shipping company's 5-day pickup window and 15-day delivery window. Overall, I'd say it was a fairly cost affective trip, especially for a vehicle that could barely manage to average around 21mpg highway.

Here's one last photo, managed to max out the instant mpg calculator by coasting down a hill at 70mph.
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Re: Road Trip - Mass to Cali (not 56k friendly)

Post by 93cobra670 on Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:43 am

wow man, that was an awesome adventure! I want to do something like that one of these days, but maybe have time to stop in some of the cool cities and what not
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Re: Road Trip - Mass to Cali (not 56k friendly)

Post by ProfNichols on Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:14 pm

this a awesome. I love the pink chair theme. Keep the documentary rolling, guys!
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